Twelve of New Zealand's top association teams contested the illustrious Wisden and Slazenger Cup from the 25th to 27th May. The 2023 edition was held at the Auckland Badminton Stadium (99 Gillies Avenue, Epsom), with all twelve courts in action across the three days of competition.
The pinnacle Inter-association competition will see all twelve teams begin in a qualification round, with the winning teams progressing into the Division 1 Wisden Cup, and the defeated teams, contesting the Division 2 Slazenger Cup. The teams compete in a 12-match round robin format, with five rounds of ties across the three days.
The 2022 Wisden Cup winners, North Harbour 1 will no doubt be looking to defend their title, as they meet newcomers, Nelson in the qualification round.
The 2022 Slazenger Cup winners, Waikato, will challenge for a place in the Wisden Cup, as the face sixth-place Canterbury in their qualification round. View the full qualification draw here.
Members of the New Zealand squad and NZ Junior Team are sprinkled across North Harbour, Auckland, Counties Manukau, Waitakere and Wellington North teams - leaving the stage set for a fierce competition across all the courts!
After a thrilling qualification round, we saw our 12 association teams split into their respective Wisden and Slazenger Cup round robin pools. Auckland 2 vs Counties Manukau was the highlight of the qualification round, with several thrilling matches. Auckland 2 came away with the win 8-4. Otherwise, qualification was a reasonably unsurprising round with the top 6 ranked teams proceeding through to the Wisden Cup.
- North Harbour 1
- Auckland 1
- Auckland 2
- North Harbour 2
- Wellington North
- Counties Manukau
Wisden and Slazenger Cup participants have now been decided and teams carefully plan ahead for their remaining five ties of the competition. Round one in the Wisden Cup produced some amazing performances, with top ranked team North Harbour 1 leading from the front, sweeping Canterbury 12-0 in an outstanding display. In the Slazenger Cup, the tie between Wellington and Otago had an exciting finish with Otago successfully edging out the victory, final score 7-5 to Otago.
- North Harbour 1 def. Canterbury - 12-0
- Auckland 1 def. North Harbour 2 - 8-4
- Auckland 2 lost to Waitakere - 3-9
- Waikato def. Nelson - 8-4
- Wellington North lost to Counties Manukau - 3-9
- Wellington lost to Otago - 5-7
In round two of the Wisden Cup all of the predictable associations came out on top. Auckland 2 vs Canterbury being the closest of all three fixtures with Auckland 2 taking it narrowly 7-5 over Canterbury. Another fantastic performance from North Harbour 1, saw them defeat North Harbour 2, 12-0. Nelson and Counties Manukau both had convincing wins over their opponents, while Otago vs Wellington played a tough tie finishing with Wellington as victors, 7-5.
- Auckland 1 def. Waitakere - 9-3
- Auckland 2 def. Canterbury - 7-5
- North Harbour 1 def. North Harbour 2 - 12-0
- Wellington North def. Otago - 7-5
- Wellington lost to Nelson - 4-8
- Waikato lost to Counties Manukau - 4-8
In the Wisden Cup round three, the two front runners of the competition, North Harbour 1 and Auckland 1 both dominated their opponents, coming away with easy victories. The last fixture however, between North Harbour 2 and Waitakere, proved to be the tie of the competition thus far. With just one game in it, North Harbour 2 were able to take the victory. In the Slazenger Cup, Waikato, Counties Manukau and Wellington North all came away with victories.
- North Harbour 1 def. Auckland 2 - 12-0
- Auckland 2 def. Canterbury - 11-1
- North Harbour 2 def. Waitakere - 6-6
- Waikato def. Wellington - 10-2
- Wellington North def. Nelson - 7-5
- Counties Manukau def. Otago - 8-4
On Saturday morning we saw the penultimate round begin, with teams starting to solidify their positions for gold, silver or bronze. In the Wisden Cup, Auckland 1 and North Harbour 1 both coasted their way into the final round, where they will match up against each other to fight for the gold position. Bronze is still anyone's game with Auckland 2, Waitakere and North Harbour 2 all in contention. In the Slazenger cup, Counties Manukau and Wellington North both secured victories, inching them closer to gold while Waikato and Otago will be fighting for a podium finish.
- North Harbour 2 def. Canterbury - 9-3
- Auckland 1 def. Auckland 2 - 11-1
- North Harbour 1 def. Waitakere - 11-1
- Counties Manukau def. Nelson - 10-2
- Wellington North def. Wellington - 9-3
- Waikato lost to Otago - 6-6
The Wisden and Slazenger Cups for 2023 wrapped up with some thrilling finals. North Harbour 1 performed strongly against Auckland 1 to claim the Wisden Cup, while Waitakere's win over Canterbury gave them a sniff of the bronze medal, however North Harbour 2 managed to hold their nerve to defeat Auckland 2 by one game, claiming third. In the Slazenger Cup, Counties Manukau continued their dominance, securing the title with a convincing win over Wellington. Wellington North and Otago also secured wins, earning themselves silver and bronze respectively. Wellington will now have to fight for survival in an end-of-season playoff against the top division three teams, who will certainly be hungry for promotion.
- Auckland 2 lost to North Harbour 2 - 6-6
- North Harbour 1 def. Auckland 1 - 9-3
- Waitakere def. Canterbury - 8-4
- Wellington lost to Counties Manukau - 2-10
- Waikato lost to Wellington North - 5-7
- Otago def. Nelson - 8-4
Congratulations to the 2023 Wisden Cup winners, North Harbour 1; and Slazenger Cup winners, Counties Manukau.
Badminton New Zealand is delighted to announce the team selected to represent New Zealand at the 23rd BWF World Junior Championships (WJC). The event will see over 50 junior teams descend on Spokane, Washington, USA from the 25th September to the 8th October.
The NZ Junior team will contest the Suhandinata Cup (Mixed Team Championships) and the Eye-Level Cups (Individual Championships) over the fortnight in Spokane.
Congratulations to the members of the 2023 NZ Junior Team:
- Chris Benzie, North Harbour
- Raphael Deloy, Waikato
- Victoria Guo, Waikato
- Jaden Mingoa, North Harbour
- Sam Navarra, Wellington North
- Berry Ng, North Harbour
- Rosie Yang, Auckland
- Josephine Zhao, North Harbour
- Camellia Zhou, Auckland
- Lezhi Zhu, Hawkes Bay
The NZ Junior Team will be accompanied by coaches, Rikke Olsen Siegemund and Nick Chambers.
During the month of March, Badminton New Zealand staff had the opportunity to connect with High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and Sport New Zealand (SNZ) through the following conferences:
- HPSNZ Performance Summit 2023
- Youth Sport Hui 2023
The horopaki for the Summit and the Hui:
- 2023 Performance Summit's purpose was to explore current trends in elite sport, reflect on the Tokyo cycle and look forward to future international pinnacle events.
- This year’s Youth Sport Hui themes were of connection, belonging, confidence and development which was weaved throughout the content on the day but also through interactions with others.
There were many insightful presenters all of whom offered us learnings to help fill our kete of knowledge. In particular, highlights from the Performance Summit were presentations from Reanna Browne (Founder & Principal Futurist, Work Futures) on our changing global and societal context & Don Tricker (Director of Player Health and Performance, San Diego Padres) on developing people for sustainable wellbeing.
Whilst at the Youth Sport Hui, the saying "nothing about us, without us" resonated with us all, reminding us about the importance of having a Youth Voice at the table. Keynote speaker Wes Clarke, Black Ferns Assistant Coach rounded off an amazing day with some thought-provoking messages around bringing teams together, high performance habits, reaching goals, connecting in groups, collective leadership, and culture change.
Ngā mihi to High Performance Sport New Zealand and Sport New Zealand for bringing the sport sector together.
As the 2023 badminton season kicks into action, we take a quick whip around our community, to welcome a handful of new faces from our associations and committees.
New Zealand Technical Officials:
Simon Joe | NZ Technical Officials Committee member
Role: Assist Badminton New Zealand in an advisory capacity as well as contribute technical knowledge to ensure the growth of technical officials throughout New Zealand!
What were you doing prior to beginning this role: My day job is best described as a business partner for an insurance company, in Badminton I am a current BWF Line judge, BNH Board Member and also still competing in Senior Division(s) for BNH.
What is your background in badminton:
I have been playing badminton for almost 20 years, along the road I've had many roles within the Badminton Community, from leading the Victoria University Badminton Club for a number of years, playing for Wellington North Badminton and then once I'd moved to Auckland I became a member of Badminton North Harbour, joining the FBC Club and also leading a number of teams in BNH through Senior division!
What are you most looking forward to in the role this year: I am a keen advocate for all things badminton, and I hope to be able to work with, grow and ensure that the badminton community is supported in anything they want to do! As a member of the NZTOC I am hoping to ensure that the TO community are well supported and any aspiring TOs see how much fun it is to do what we do!
Tell us a fun fact about you: I have an unhealthy addiction to Panda related items!
Tony Naidu | Development Manager
Role: To strengthen and grow participation in Badminton at all levels within our region. My role works with our High Performance Programs, Clubs, in School and outside of School programs, Academies, Competitions and Events both within our Stadium and across the many venues that we utilize within our region, our Stadium, Sponsorship and Funding.
What were you doing prior to beginning this role: My last role was General Manager for Cricket Papua New Guinea.
What is your background in badminton:
My level of play is social. Badminton is a great sport that is an amazing workout, however, my abilities are very much limited on the court.
What are you most looking forward to in the role this year: We are doing so many things that it is hard to pinpoint one thing. Each week I’ve been excited about something new. When we brought in my new Development Coordinators and seeing how we are expanding what we are able to accomplish has been great. The new initiatives we are offering including new “Aspiring” Squads that open up opportunities for nearly 100 players from Under 13 to seniors to train like our rep players. There are a few more that I can’t announce yet. Like I said, each week there is something new and exciting we are doing.
Tell us a fun fact about you: I’ve abseiled off the Great Wall of China.
Contact Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org
Neha Ghanekar | Development Co-Ordinator
Role: To grow badminton programs in schools, clubs and community level. It also includes private coaching and focus on player development.
What were you doing prior to beginning this role: My last role was a Fitness Trainer for YMCA - assigning fitness programs, conducting group fitness sessions and creating sports oriented workouts.
What is your background in badminton: I am a state level player of my home country, India. I have been a competitive player for a long time in my younger days and then inclined towards being a coach. In Auckland, I have participated in some social and competitive tournaments. I aim to get back to playing competitively again in the near future.
What are you most looking forward to in the role this year: I am looking forward to come up with as many innovative programs as possible for people to participate and feel passionate about badminton. The aim is to also promote the sport among women too and increase their participation overall. In this new role, I am keen on learning new things every day and striving hard to accomplish what I have aimed for.
Tell us a fun fact about you: I like to collect old coins from different countries I have visited.
Contact Neha at email@example.com
Warren Ji | East Development Co-Ordinator
Role: My role works with our high performance programs, clubs, in school and outside of school programs, academies, competitions and events both within our stadium and across the many venues that we utilize within our region, our stadium, sponsorship and funding. At Auckland Badminton, we offer a diverse range of programs for all ages, and my role is to make sure we continue to deliver to a high standard and seek to grow where there are opportunities.
What were you doing prior to beginning this role: I have been a coach at Auckland Badminton for the past five years.
What is your background in badminton: Pre-Pro badminton athlete in China.
What are you most looking forward to in the role this year: Increase the quality of delivery for players and coaches in all areas and at all levels.
Tell us a fun fact about you: I skydived from 15,000 feet in Queenstown.
Contact Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org
Waikato Badminton Association:
Thomas Walther | Chief Executive Officer
Role: Hoping to improve the environment, training, skill and fun level at WBA. Hoping to introduce frameworks to help all clubs and schools increase their membership numbers, engagement, and overall level. Also trying to improve the economic situation of our association and stadium.
What were you doing prior to beginning this role: Investment advisor and used to run a badminton brand a few years ago.
What is your background in badminton: I grew up in a Danish badminton club, with parents who played, volunteered and ran the club. I played at decent national level in Denmark. I have used badminton to get friends and networks while living and working in China. I have worked in FZ FORZA for 6 years, where I designed, manufactured, sourced and sold badminton equipments and ran the organisation outside Europe.
What are you most looking forward to in the role this year: We have so much going for us here in Waikato. I hope I can help install a wider sense of community around the stadium, organise training better, allowing our players and families to grow and hopefully helping our clubs grow as well. We want to continue our outreach programmes to schools, so we can build a foundation for badminton in the region in the future. We are of course proud to host the Waikato Open, the first stop on the NZ tour as well as junior tournaments, but I’m mostly looking forward to the whole process of trying to improve the association, the financials, the structure, the coaches, players and attitude. We have lots of work to do, big dreams, and I can’t wait to see how far we can go.
Contact Thomas at email@example.com
Samuel Smith | Community & Events Manager
Role: Hosting and facilitating quality events here in the Waikato while growing the sport of Badminton throughout schools and the wider Waikato community, sustaining positive relationships with all around the region in the process.
What were you doing prior to beginning this role: I'm a recent Marketing and Sports Business graduate of the University of Otago. After five years in Dunedin, I also recently completed a summer internship as a Business Analyst in the Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry.
What is your background in badminton: Admittedly, I boast a limited history and relationship with the sport of Badminton. However, I have a strong affinity with sports generally, so am excited to learn and integrate myself in the world of Badminton.
What are you most looking forward to in the role this year: In my short time here at Waikato Badminton Association so far, I can already sense the ambition and positive feelings growing in the stadium. I am excited to say I work here, and I can tell I will be proud to say I was a part of its inevitable growth in the coming months and years.
Tell us a fun fact about you: I have no formal history of playing Badminton, however, I did proudly boast a Merit grade in the NCEA Level 2 PE Badminton unit while in school.
Bay of Plenty Badminton:
Donald Koh | Coaching Development Manager
Role: To develop a sustainable coaching structure for Bay of Plenty as we seek to maintain and extend growth in every corner of our Association.
What were you doing prior to beginning this role: I've previously had a 2-year stint with Wellington Badminton Association, followed by a role as CEO for Singapore Badminton Association in 2017.
What is your background in badminton: I'm from Singapore and have been very passionate with badminton since a very young age. I've had highlights including representing Singapore at several Thomas Cup, Southeast Asian Games, National Championships and in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Since retiring as an athlete, I've worked closely with schools under the Ministry of Education, coaching, motivating and inspiring junior players to one day be in the National team.
What are you most looking forward to in the role this year: I look forward to bringing my experiences, and technical expertise to the Bay community and bring the play to the next level!
Simone Geange | Development Officer
Role: To increase awareness and opportunities to interact, play and learn the skills of badminton for both recreational and competitive players and future players in our community. The aim is to grow Badminton into a thriving and fun sport, that will attract more engagement from players and public.
What were you doing prior to beginning this role: I was working in healthcare, particularly skin cancer. This lead to the birth of my own little business, Oak + I, where we make all natural skin and body care products.
What is your background in badminton:
I was introduced to badminton through our intermediate school project about 20 years ago. I instantly loved the sport and entered the junior competitive scene for many years. I took a break from playing badminton while I travelled and grew my family. Now I am back at the badminton hall, loving the game and the community we are building.
What are you most looking forward to in the role this year: Showing people that badminton can be a high paced, high skill sport and not just a slow chilled Sunday afternoon game at the family picnic haha!
Tell us a fun fact about you: My bookshelf is full of philosophical books.
Contact Simone at firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Lennane-Henry | Office Manager
Role: Office Manager for Badminton Canterbury
What were you doing prior to beginning this role: I previously worked briefly for Sport Canterbury as Admin Support and before that Administration Manager for Jennian Homes West Coast.
What is your background in badminton: Backyard badminton! I've never played seriously - but I am a squash and tennis player though!
What are you most looking forward to in the role this year: Making a positive difference within the Badminton Canterbury whanau, getting to know the players and our community.
Tell us a fun fact about you: I love playing team sports, walking my dog, going to the beach and putting my feet up with a good book and a glass of red wine!
Contact Debbie at email@example.com
A cohort of New Zealand Para badminton team had the opportunity to showcase Para badminton alongside the recent Oceania Championships, thanks to Tātaki Auckland Unlimited.
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, a proud supporter of New Zealand badminton events, have also shown their commitment to inclusion through their advocacy for Para badminton events and opportunities.
Badminton New Zealand's Diversity and Inclusion Manager Michelle Au comments,
We really appreciate Tātaki Auckland Unlimited's support of Para badminton. From our first Para National Championships through to this Para Challenge showcase, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited has helped us to highlight our sport's pathways for disabled New Zealanders.
The Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Para Challenge saw members of the NZ Para badminton team contest a team tie against Auckland-based badminton talent. The broad audience, including fans from Australia, the Pacific and New Zealand, were treated to five matches, featuring Para badminton stars, Thomas Slade and Oliver Linton, among others.
Thomas, an SU5 athlete who competed at the 2022 BWF Para Badminton World Championships commented, "The games were admittedly tough, but this was a great chance for us to compete in an international tournament environment, locally."
Oceania SL3-SU5 Mixed Doubles champion, Oliver Linton also enjoyed the experience, "It was cool to bring able-bodied people to play on a Para badminton (SL3) court in this tournament-like setting. I hope to be able to do more opportunities like this again!"
Whilst the New Zealand Para badminton team were unable to achieve the overall win, the success of the Para Challenge demonstrated the capability and platform for future Para badminton events and activations, through partnerships with council, associations and NSOs.
Badminton New Zealand thanks Tātaki Auckland Unlimited for their financial support and Badminton Oceania and Auckland Badminton for their in-venue support.
Badminton New Zealand is excited to announce the appointment of Tracey Hallam to the role of Coach Development Manager. Tracey has significant coaching experience, including her recent position as Coaching & Development Manager with Waikato Badminton and NZ U15 National Coach.
“We look forward to welcoming Tracey to the Badminton New Zealand team. Tracey will be a great asset to the team as she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Coach Development space.” BNZ’s General Manager, Donna Trow comments.
“One of the strong findings through the Voice of the Participant and consultation project, was the need to improve coaching capability and capacity across our regions. With Tracey appointed to this new role, we know we will be able to make a huge impact to coaching at the grassroot and development across Aotearoa.”
The Coach Development Manager role will begin to implement the BNZ Coaching Philosophy and Framework, and work closely with the Associations through co-design to improve coaching capability and capacity across the regions.
Tracey begins her role with Badminton New Zealand from February 20th and can be contactable via firstname.lastname@example.org